Uniting program to support vulnerable youth in Northern NSW
Leading provider of out-of-home care and homeless support, Uniting, has been awarded government funding to deliver an innovative program to assist at risk youth leaving foster care in Northern NSW.
Minister for Family and Community Services Minister, Pru Goward MP in Goonellabah announced on March 29, that Uniting will receive $2.25 million over three years, as part of the Premier’s Youth Initiative.
The new initiative is designed to provide support to young people leaving care via housing as well as education and employment opportunities in the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW FACS District.
“I am very happy that we are seeing more support for young people experiencing homelessness in Northern NSW,” said Ms Goward.
“We know we need to improve support to those in crisis as well as provide opportunities for education and training but we also need to do better when it comes to preventing young people from becoming homeless in the first place.”
Uniting Head of Far North and Mid North Coast, Charlie Chubb explained that once youth turn 18 years old and leave out-of-home care there is no transitional support to the next stage of their lives.
“This can lead to unemployment and even living on the streets,” said Mr Chubb.
“By supporting them with access to further training, employment and housing close to where they need it, this program not only reduces their risk of homelessness, but also gives them hope for a secure and stable future and better life outcomes.”
Aboriginal youth will comprise around half of the young care leavers between Tweed Heads and Port Macquarie to be assisted by this program.
“Uniting has a strong track record in working with vulnerable young people in Northern NSW, including those leaving care.
“Over the past 25 years Uniting has established longstanding relationships with the Aboriginal communities on the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW,” said Mr Chubb.
Uniting is partnering with Aboriginal Employment Strategy Ltd to link young people with life changing education and job opportunities.
“As a community housing provider, we can link them with local appropriate accommodation options. It’s not only about providing a roof over people’s heads, we’re also providing the resources to support them to lead a rewarding and fulfilling adult life.
“Uniting is excited to work on this initiative with our partner, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, which has proven experience achieving great outcomes for young people,” Mr Chubb said.
This initiative follows a recent announcement that Uniting was selected as one of three partners with the NSW Government in the innovative Foyer 51 project, which is also designed to combat youth homelessness in the inner city for young people leaving care.
Pictured: (From left to right) Alan Hoskins AO, Chair Uniting Regional Advisory Council North, The Hon. Thomas George MP Member for Lismore, The Hon. Pru Goward MP, Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing, and Minister for the. Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Charlie Chubb, Head of Far and Mid North Coast Regions Resilient Families, Tony Davies, Chief Executive Officer Social Futures